The final stage of each unit is often the part people have most trepidation over, firstly don’t forget everyone is here to help and will.
Find out ahead of time when and where your assessment is. If you are studying with a training provider, they will normally book it for you.
Give your tutor your AAT number so they can make sure you’re booked into the assessment. Also ensure that you’ve advised AAT of any changes in your name and address.
Ready, set, go
You’ve done your revision, you know your topic and you’re ready, so what now?
- Calm down, prepare yourself mentally, go for a walk or go to the gym, any activity which calms the mind.
- Ensure that you’ve eaten and drunk enough before the assessment, but not just before so you must go to the toilet.
- Ensure that everything outside your assessment is planned, so that when you go in, you can focus fully on the questions and not worry about who is picking up the children etc.
- Take ID with you, the invigilator needs to identify who you are. It needs to be photo ID with your name on it. Especially if you’ve recently changed your name, ensure it matches AAT records.
- Know where you’re going, where you’ll park and give yourself enough time to deal with traffic.
This means you arrive at your assessment in the best possible frame of mind, ready to share all your knowledge with the assessor.
Once you’re in your room, find your computer and get comfortable, make sure you listen to the invigilator.
When you prepared for your assessment you made sure you understood both the technical content and the style of question you expected.
Sometimes in the assessment, a question is worded differently or covering a topic you’re less comfortable. Have a plan for these situations.
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What to do during your assessment
Use the paper available to you. Write down key points and phrases, maybe do some calculations on paper before you type them up.
You have plenty of time so use it.
Develop a strategy, if having answered a question you become stressed or unhappy. Having a method to allow you to put that question in a ’box‘ and move on clearly to the rest of the paper is key. The most common methods are guided breathing or visualisation.
Knowing some meditative skills, you can call upon should you find yourself in a stressed state, is a useful tool and often mean the difference between pass and fail.
Once you have completed your paper, review it actively:
- Write down the task including the active verb, then check you’ve answered THE question not A question!
- Make sure you’ve answered all the elements, that you’ve communicated clearly and accurately, so you make the marker’s life easy.
- Remember, anything worth having is not going to be easy, if it was easy then everyone would do it and it would have no value.
Work hard, achieve and thrive.
Sam Perkin is an AAT tutor.